Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Me and the Farmer

Portal Shards. This could be interesting tomorrow... ^^

Those of you who are regular readers will know I got quite excited about Farming when it was first introduced. The grind, however, like most of those that dominate this Expansion was long, often painful and ultimately something of a disappointment. When I hit Exalted with everyone... well, that's it, really. You get a lovely farm, full of well thought out flavour items, 16 plots and... that's it. It's a decent moneymaker, a great way to provide yourself with cash and raw materials but that is as much as it yields, if you are not lucky enough to harvest an Ominous Seed.

Clearly someone at Blizzard has been thinking much the same thing.

Oho. This smells like more questing... ^^

I like the idea of being able to log off on your farm. I like the idea of making rodent and bird control easier. Gonna have to say though, PLEASE don't make this about more quests, guys. The LAST thing we need right now is more tasks on the only part of the game that effectively nobody else sees. That means you're diverting attention away from important stuff like raiding and instances and actually playing the game. You really don't need to 'perk' this place, it is already one.

Let me let you in on a secret: you can do loads cosmetically to make the place better. Offer that for gold, and I can guarantee you'll create a gold sink the likes of which you'll have never seen in game. People will be falling over themselves to pay for colour co-ordination and special items because this will mean, that finally, we get to have player housing. Who'd have thought the Farm would open the door to such wonderful layers of potential customisation?

Then there's the possibility of what you could grow, or rather what you could dig up in the soil: I have sixteen Portal Shards growing right now. What's to stop you from pulling up new materials for a whole new set of special vanity items that the Professions people could capitalise on? How about occasionally unearthing a rare piece of metal or gem that forms a weapon? Could you find something lost on the farm that could be returned to a potential wealthy and grateful owner somewhere across Azeroth? What else could grow in Pandaria's soil? What if you found an item on a mob in a dungeon with flavour text like 'This looks like a seed. perhaps you should try planting it on your farm.' The possibilities are, quite frankly endless.

What worries me when you see CM's and Devs make comments like this is that we will end up with 'just another grind': the same deal, with dailies and reputation and only rewards after a set pattern of events has been fulfilled. What would be fabulous, at least from where I'm sitting, can be summed up in two words: random surprises. I love the fact that the game has begun to embrace such things, but I think we can go a lot further, and there is potential to push this part of the experience in new and exciting directions. Anyone who makes money knows just how powerful and potent a tool the Farm is currently, now combine that with some fun and random possibilities of EPIC AWESOME and frankly, a lot of people might never play the game proper again... :D

I'm encouraged to see Blizzard already thinking ahead. Let us hope it is with an eye to creating something truly new and unique in Warcraft terms and not simply a hash up of Quest Hub Failies under a different name...


Rush said...

Even if the extent of the improvements is more efficient ways to clear out the Vermin and Plainshawks from my farm, I'll be super happy. I've got two full farms growing herbs now that the Golden Lotus odds have buffed (14 across 30 plots yesterday), and the little critters are just such a hassle.

Tome of the Ancient said...

I have so wanted to be able to log off at the farm, that alone would make me happy.

And I agree with Rush, it would be wonderful if you could discover a Virmen Bomb that would clear them all out at once so you could sit on the steps of your farm and enjoy the growing crops!

Aygaren said...

My vote is for "Dog." After all the steaks he required, he should be more active in chasing off the vermin and hawks.

OldWulf said...

What Aygaren said... excellent idea. Dog could take a set amount of time to finish off a rodent, so you can tackle another yourself or wait for the rodent to get savaged then sic Dog on another.

Farming is all about time, and all of the upgrades are time-based improvements. Makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

I never understood why the Pandaren Scarecrow didn't chase away the birds, or at least weaken them.

The Godmother said...

When you look at all the items on the farm there is an enormous potential to 'animate' many parts of it, but I wonder if this would cause issues with server lag.

I also like, that at this stage at least, we can all 'play' game designer with the Devs :D

Bristal said...

The problem with random rewards is that it may brighten up your day while you do the tasks you were doing anyway, but it doesn't give any new content to someone who doesn't really need to farm stuff to progress.

I loved doing the farm grind, but now what? I'm not going to farm stuff I don't really need just because I may get a random drop. I have more gold than I need.

But give me some new quests for cool farm rewards and I'm back in it. Making those quest grinds available only as drops or on the BMAH a la Brawlers and all the better

One person's grind is another's core gameplay.

lometa said...

I love my farm and wish I could name my dog. I would also like to know what keeps killing my chickens! I log out there on my 90 every night :)